When is it time for a holy fast?

I do not fast very often.  At one time I did, actually, my wife and I did.  When our children were both in school, we took every Wednesday lunch as our time to fast.  No matter where we were or what we were doing, we both knew we were abstaining and praying for our children.

I want to fast – but what makes it holy, what makes it work so that it is not just a thing I do. When praying for our children, it made complete sense, but do I always have to have a motive when I fast?

It would seem that fasting is an act of worship too.  As God has been calling me into the spiritual discipleship of offering my body as an act of worship, which is my reasonable service and also a sacrifice to Him, it is making more sense that there is worship in the act of abstinence.

So, along with my meditation and prayer over the Word of God each day, appointing times of fasting, I may come and offer myself anew to God.

That newness would seem to generate from being with God – so love should be the emotional bliss of having spent such a holy time with Him. Anger should cease, strife avoided, my mind focused on Him, giving to the poor, subtract from myself and give away to those that have need, and most likely deny myself to give to those who have need.

I am sure that fasting without devotion is an image of famine.

It must be beneficial to pray and fast with others.  Where my devotion to God each morning is held in a quiet hour, it would seem that fasting is best done with others. Through the intercession of many, the power of prayer takes on a new agenda.

Let’s go back again to the idea or purpose of a fast – what purpose would you and I be willing to join that would encourage us all to come together and fast?

My spirit is being challenged to pray to the Lord of the harvest, that there may be more workers in the field.  Maybe our own sorrow for the lost will turn into repentance and humiliation before God. With all the marks of sorrow and shame, sin must be confessed and bewailed. A day is to be appointed for this purpose; a day in which people must be kept from their common employments, that they may more closely attend God’s services; and there is to be abstaining from meat and drink. Every one had added to the national guilt, all shared in the national calamity, therefore every one must join in repentance. When joy and gladness are cut off from God’s house, when serious godliness decays, and love waxes cold, then it is time to cry unto the Lord.

Time to fast when we feel ourselves getting too comfortable, time to fast when God calls us to give and we find we have nothing to give, time to fast when we can’t figure out one sin to repent of, time to fast when a day goes by when we have not declared our hope in Jesus with another soul, time to fast when God calls us to serve and we say no.

Lord, may I find others who are called to fast and may we join together to worship you and pray for you to heal.


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